THE EIGHT pro-hunting demonstrators who entered the House of Commons chamber during a debate on a Bill to ban fox hunting denied charges of disorderly conduct when they appeared in court on Tuesday December 21st.
The demonstrators were charged under section 5 of the Public Order Act after the incident on September 15th when they burst into the debating chamber in the House of Commons when the Government’s Hunting Bill was being discussed and huge demonstrations were taking place outside Parliament.
The men, including 22-year-old Otis Ferry, the son of rock star Bryan Ferry, and Luke Tomlinson, 27, a close friend of Princes William and Harry, appeared before Bow Street magistrates’ Court.
All eight pleaded not guilty to using threatening behaviour or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. The men were granted unconditional bail. The next hearing, a pre-trial review, will take place on January 18th 2005 but the men will not be required to attend. A date for a trail is expected to be set at that hearing.
What may well be the last legal Boxing Day hunting meets were due to take place around the country on Monday 27th, as Boxing Day fell on a Sunday this year and Hunts do not meet on a Sunday.